What is a blind form submit link?

A blind form submit link is a special URL that includes pre-defined responses for a form. When a contact clicks the link, the form responses are submitted to Eloqua. For the contact, it’s a seamless experience—they don’t even know they’re submitting a form (which is why it’s called a blind form). This is extremely useful for capturing information from your contacts because it requires so little effort on their part.

 

When to use blind form submit links

Blind form submit links are great for collecting simple responses from your contacts, such as subscribing to a newsletter or registering for an event. Because the user is submitting a form, this means you can also execute form processing steps with a single click. You can add the contact to a campaign, add them to a shared list, or send an email notification to a sales representative.

 

For example, you might have an event that you want to encourage contacts to register for. Instead of asking them to visit a landing page to complete a form, you can include a blind form submit link in your email that says “Yes, I’ll be there.”

 

Using multiple links

Sometimes you might want to capture form field responses that have multiple options. In the event registration example, you might have a series of events where the user can choose a time that is most convenient for them. In this case, you could use multiple blind form submit links, one for each time option. For example, you could have one link for the morning event, one for the afternoon, and one for the mid-day.

 

In the form inside Eloqua, you use conditional form processing steps that execute the different event registrations depending on the response in the form fields.

 

How the link works

This is what a blind form submit link looks like:

 

http://s1234.t.eloqua.com/e/f2?elqFormName=ClickTracking&elqSiteID=1234&emailAddress=<span class=eloquaemail>EmailAddress</span>&TrackedField=StaticValue

 

  • s1234.t.eloqua.com/e/f2
    This is the Post URL. Every Eloqua form has this. It’s how the form knows what to do with the data it collects. This is what the blind form submit link is built on. This link might be a little different for everyone because it includes your site ID (listed above as 1234).
  • ?
    This is the beginning of the first query string, which is a way of passing additional information through a URL. The query strings in the blind form submit link will identify what information to pass back to Eloqua. The first query string in a URL always starts with a question mark, and additional query strings are marked with an ampersand (&).
  • elqFormName=ClickTracking
    This is the query string that identifies which Eloqua form is being submitted. The parameter (elqFormName) is always the same, but the value (ClickTracking) will depend on the form that is being submitted. Every Eloqua form has a unique form name.
  • &elqSiteID=1234
    This query string identifies your site ID, which may be different for different Eloqua users. Again, the parameter (elqSiteID) is always the same, but the value (1234) may be different. Notice that this query string starts with an ampersand.
  • &emailAddress=<span class=eloquaemail>EmailAddress</span>
    This query string defines the email address of the contact. This is what makes the form submit blind. Because the contact is already in your database, they don’t have to enter all their contact information. The parameter (emailAddress) is always the same, and the value (<span class="eloquaemail">EmailAddress</span>) is the code for a field merge that changes dynamically to the contact’s email address when it’s in an Eloqua-sent email. This is important to remember—if you add the link to an HTML page or email outside Eloqua, the email address won’t be included in this query string’s value, and the link won’t work. Also, if the contact forwards the email to someone else, and that person clicks the link, the original contact’s information will be submitted with the form. If you don’t want this to happen, then you need to include a note in your email that says the link is unique for that contact, and the email should not be forwarded.
  • &TrackedField=StaticValue
    This query string is where you include the specific form field and field values that you want to collect with your blind form submit link. The parameter (TrackedField) is the HTML name of the form field, and the value (StaticValue) is what the contact would enter in the form field if they were completing it on a landing page. You can add additional form field query strings if you want to submit additional fields.

 

The Eloqua form

Before you can create a blind form submit link, you need to create the form that will be submitted. This form will have one contact field—the email address—and as many custom fields as you need. You’ll most likely be adding custom fields that use pre-defined values, such as picklists, check boxes and radio buttons.

 

You can also re-use the same form for all of your blind form submit links, even if they relate to entirely different campaigns, by taking advantage of conditional form processing steps. You don’t need to add every form field to the blind form submit link, just the ones that you need.

 

Build your own blind form submit link

If you want to build your own blind form submit link, follow this step-by-step guide. It will walk you through building the form, finding all the information needed in the link (including your site ID, form name, and HTML field names), and piecing together the URL for your emails.

 

If you’re not very comfortable working with code, you can also use our blind form submit link generator, which is attached to this post. Use the guide to help you find all the values you need for the generator. You will need to save the HTML file to your computer, or upload it to a website where you and your team can share it.